Chautauqua Lake Cleanup Report

Chautauqua Lake Cleanup 2017

The Chautauqua Lake Cleanup was held on Saturday, May 21 from 8 am to 2:30pm.  There were 43 volunteers who collected 61 tires, 20 cubic yards of trash and 1040 pounds mixed metals.  This third annual cleanup was co-hosted by Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA), Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Chautauqua Co. Soil and Water Conservation District and Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance.  The Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association provided their property as the main staging area.  They also provided coffee, doughnuts and a hot dog and hamburger lunch to the volunteers as a small thank you for their efforts.  All the hosts want to thank the volunteers and sponsors for supporting this effort.

Platinum Sponsors were Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Rock of WNY, and the Main Landing Restaurant.  The CLA participated for the first time this year and provided 2 barges, 2 dump trucks, the weed harvester and staff to operate the equipment.   The barges and trucks helped us get a lot of stuff out of the Lake and transport it to our staging area at the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association.  Rock which participated for the second time, provided their barge with the crane.  It was instrumental in getting some very large and heavy stuff out of the lake.

Other sponsors were Gold Sponsors:  Evergreen Outfitters, United Refining Co, and Conewango Township. Bestway Container Solutions, Silver Sponsors included:  Great Lakes Tree Services, Inc, Cochran & Zandi Lumber, Inc, and Stiffler & McGraw.   Bronze Sponsors included:  Superior Tire and Rubber Co, Donald E Lewis Funeral Home, Whirly Drink Works, Betts Industries, Warren Industrial Solutions and Voty Insurance Agency.

Sue Nielsen, board member for CCWA stated “We got some very productive volunteers both on-land and on-water.  But we needed more people on the water.  We had plenty of canoes.   We were working in areas where the bigger boats couldn’t go so we had to collect the trash and move it out to an area where the barges could pick up the trash and tires. We needed more hands to help.  We got a lot of tires and trash, but there’s still a lot out there.”

“Of course, we need to thank Chautauqua County for registering our event as an Earth Day event and disposing of the trash and tires at no cost to us.  That is a critical element to any cleanup, the cost of disposal,” said Elizabeth Dropp, also a board member of CCWA.

On-land volunteers cleaned Celoron/ Lucille Ball Park, McCrea Point Park, the ball fields just off Jones and Gifford road as well as along Jones and Gifford Road itself. See photos below.

ROCK of WNY Supplied a barge and operator for the day

Allegheny River – 2017 River of the Year Update

Details about the River of the Celebrations Announced

Penn Soil RC&D is beginning to add information to their web page about the upcoming River of the Year activities.  Go to to learn more.

Sponsorship Materials information and application can be found there.  Don’t miss out on Supporting this Western PA and New York State celebration

Mini-Grant Program – Penn Soil is offering a min-grant program with grants up to $500 to others fund their own River of the Year Events.  See the web page for full details and application.

A Calendar of Event is being developed.  If you have event to add contact Penn Soil thru the website or call Wes Ramsey at 814-726-1441


Support CCWA Online May 17th, 2017

Support Conewango Creek Watershed on May 17!

Support CCWA on May 17!!

Conewango Creek Watershed Association(CCWA) is happy to announce that it once again will be included in the supported nonprofits in the “Warren Gives” online donation campaign to be held May 17, 2017 from 6 AM to 10 pm.  This is an important source of funding for CCWA which is a nearly all-volunteer organization.

This special Warren County online fund raising event involves sixteen hours of online giving with goals to raise awareness and appreciation for Warren County non-profits and to Continue reading “Support CCWA Online May 17th, 2017”

Allegheny is PA 2017 River of the Year!!!

We finally got the word:  Allegheny is River of the Year for 2017!!  PA DCNR sent out the news release and it hit the local papers Tuesday Jan 10.  Allegheny River got 42% of the total votes. That means the Allegheny got 7515 of the 16700 votes.  This is the highest total votes registered in this contest since the online voting process began.  Penn Soil RC&D Council, the nominating organization, wants to thank everyone who took time to vote and to spread the word to others.  According to Janet Sweeney, Executive Director for Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), the Allegheny had a 1500 vote lead over the second place river, the Brandywine Creek, in Southeast Penn.  Wes Ramsey, Executive Director of Penn Soil Council said that “Whether the Allegheny River won or not, it was a great opportunity to bring attention to our beautiful river and increase awareness of this precious resource!”

Penn Soil will receive a $10,000 grant to run celebration activities during 2017.  The Allegheny River will be featured on a poster which DCNR will print and distribute state wide.Stay tuned for more information on River of the Year activities.  We’ll post additional information as it becomes available.

Allegheny River: River of the Year Update

As of 8 am this morning our lead had dropped to 1.5% over the second place Brandywine Creek.    So the Brandywine supporters have been pouring on the publicity and votes to really challenge us.  So we have renewed our efforts to get the word out and get more votes.  Since then we have regained some of our lead, but I’m sure they will respond in like fashion. So keep up the voting and asking everyone else if they have voted yet.  One vote per legitimate email address.  Deadline Monday Dec. 19th at 5pm.  Thank You!!!

PLEASE VOTE:  Allegheny River for 2017 PA of the Year

 Penn Soil RC&D Council has nominated the Allegheny River for the 2017 PA River of the Year contest.  Allegheny River is one of four finalists.  The winner will be determined by the river or creek that receives the most online votes.  We are asking everyone to go online and vote for the Allegheny River.  Bringing attention and media coverage to our local waterways benefits our whole region.  Everyone who has a legitimate email address can vote: 

How to Vote:

  • Go to
  • Click on the “Vote” button in the photo banner at top of page. (The photo rotates so you may have to wait a few seconds)
  • On the next page click on “Allegheny River” to select it.
  • Scroll down, enter your email address
  • Click on the button “Enter” to submit your vote
  • That’s it.

Other Information:

  • Anyone can vote: you can be from and vote from anywhere – any state or country
  • Vote from Smartphone, table, or computer
  • You need a legitimate email address
  • For multiple people to vote on the same computer, you may need to clear the cache or the cookies.
  • Penn Soil will receive a $10,000 grant to spend on celebrations and education
  • The River will be featured on a poster to be distributed to the public for free.
  • The section runs from the origin of the river in Potter County, PA to Clarion PA
  • A large section of the river is in southern tier NY – We invite you vote along with us and celebrate along with us, should we win the honor
  • Let’s all work together for the good of our regional water resources!!

 It’s very important to spread the word anyway you can:  social media, news papers, radio, word of mouth, information sheets.

 OK so now let’s make the Allegheny 2017 PA River of the Year!!

8th Annual River Cleanups: Registration NOW OPEN

8th Annual River Cleanups:


It’s that time of year again to register for the 8th Annual Allegheny River and Conewango Creek Cleanup!

The cleanup schedule is Saturday September 10 through Saturday September 17, 2016.  Volunteers are needed on land, on water, and in various capacities.  Volunteers are needed to register people, log people on/off the water, document trash found, drive trucks, haul trailers, unload & sort trash, paddle a canoe to pick up trash, walk the shorelines to pick up trash, shuttle people and boats, and many other duties.  

For a complete schedule and to register go to  Please note: waivers are required and may be downloaded from that website too.  

We are also seeking new organizers and planners for next year’s cleanup.  That’s right, as soon as this cleanup is finished, we move into planning for next year.  If you have always wanted to make a difference and put your planning and organizing skills to work for an excellent cause, our cleanup committee NEEDS YOU!  Please call the office at 814-726-1441 or send an email to to share your ideas about how you can help.  

Warren Outdoor Show Jan 9 & 10

Happy New Year!

Come visit our table at the annual Warren Outdoor Show at the Warren Mall this weekend, Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10, 2016 from 10AM to 6PM! We will have raffle tickets for sale for a brand new Kayak Package. We will also have our 2016 Calendars for a donation of $10 each (hey it’s only January, so pick one up this weekend!). And we also have lots of FREE Commemorative River of the Year Posters for anyone who stops by too. Finally, we also will have information on our upcoming 2016 Poker Run, so come by our table at the Warren Outdoor Show this weekend! See you there!

CCWA Announces A Photo/Calendar Contest


The Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA) is holding a photo contest.  All you shutterbugs that enjoy the outdoors and have photos from anywhere in the Conewango Watershed can submit them by email to by August 1st for consideration in the contest.  The photos will be judged with the top photo going on the cover of a 2016 calendar the CCWA is putting together.  Twelve other photos will be picked, one for each month of the year.  All photos must be submitted digitally in jpeg format.

Please include with your email submission your name, phone numbers, email address, location and date of photo as well as the camera used.  There is a maximum of two (2) photo submissions per person.  The photographers chosen will need to sign a release allowing CCWA royalty-free and copyright-free use of the photos. Each winning photographer will be acknowledged in the calendar with their photo.

The calendar will be sold to help raise funds to protect and keep clean this treasure in our own backyard.  The Conewango Creek was recently voted the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year, but it is only part of the entire watershed.  To view a map of the entire watershed, visit the CCWA website homepage at, or click HERE.  Any questions on the photo contest can be directed to the email address for photo submissions above.

This is open to all photographers but remember there is a 2 photo limit so pick your best and hopefully your photo will land in the calendar.  Good Luck To All!

We Need Your Help!!

Help us make Conewango Creek the Pennsylvania River of the Year!

The Conewango Creek was nominated for 2015 PA River of the Year by the Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA). The River of the Year will be determined by popular vote on the internet. We need everyone’s vote to make it. That includes all friends, relatives and family members regardless of whether they are in the Conewango Creek Watershed or in Pennsylvania. Everyone and anyone can vote if they have access to the internet and have an email address.  Spread the word to all your friends, neighbors and family! Deadline is Dec 15th. Vote now before you get caught up in holiday preparations.

Vote at

It only takes about 30 seconds to vote. Click on the Conewango Creek Photo, enter your email address and click “vote” and that’s all there is to it.

Conewango Creek


Applications were submitted which cover assets of the waterway, conservation challenges and conservation successes for the river or creek. The winning stream will be featured on a poster with that creek’s photo on it which will be distributed statewide and in the watershed. Also the winning organization will receive a $10,000 grant from PA Dept of Natural Resources and Conservation (DCNR) to celebrate the stream for one year.

If the Conewango Creek should win, the money will be used by CCWA to hold some public events to bring attention to our own local gem: The Creek itself. One requirement is to hold a sojourn or paddle trip open to the public with emphasis on education and getting people out on the water. We would like to use some of the money to have a community project to improve one of the boat launches along the lower Conewango. We plan to do something really special for our annual creek cleanup as well. Plans have yet to be finalized.

The contest is sponsored by DCNR and Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). POWR is administering the voting on You can vote from your smart phone, tablet or computer. It’s one vote per email and per device. There are some highly populated areas we are competing with so we need a high turnout of the local people to have a chance. So ask everyone to vote for Conewango Creek.  For more information on POWR Click HERE.  For more information on DCNR’s Streams programs Click HERE.   POWR is a part of the PA Environmental Council

The Conewango Creek is a beautiful creek with a lot going for it. It really is a gem of our region with unique biodiversity. One of the purposes of the contest is to bring attention to the local streams and help people appreciate what they have in their own backyards.

Other creeks/rivers in the running are Loyalhanna Creek (SW PA), Ohio River (Pittsburgh area), Lackawanna River (NE PA), Neshaminy Creek (SE PA). The honor has only come to three streams in NW PA in the 31 years of the contest: Allegheny River, French Creek and Clarion River. The honor needs to return to NW PA for 2015!

Map with 5 Candidate Rivers
Map with 5 Candidate Rivers

The Conewango Creek is a PA based IRS designated 501 c (3) but covers the whole Conewango Creek watershed. It has board members from NYS as well as PA. Regular members come from all three counties in the watershed (Chautauqua Co. Cattaraugus Co., and Warren Co. PA.

The watershed is 900 sq. miles which is over 500,000 acres. Over half of Chautauqua County is in the Conewango Watershed and makes up 65% of the Conewango Creek watershed. Twenty percent of the watershed is on Cattaraugus Co. Only 15 % of the watershed is in Warren Co. The majority of the watershed is in NYS along with a majority of the population. That’s why we need everyone in PA and NYS to vote!